The 2011 Australasian Safari competition marched on during Monday with riders covering 326km of competitive stages. After three days of racing Todd Smith remains in the lead by more than 10 minutes ahead of his brother, Jacob Smith. Todd Smith recorded the fastest time during the third leg by nearly five minutes ahead of Shane Diener. Rod Faggotter, Jacob Smith and Damien Grabham rounded out the frontrunners during the day as Frenchman Cyril Despres dropped more than 40 minutes behind the leader.
“It was fun today,” said Despres. “I was a bit faster, although I was expecting it to be like yesterday. There was some sliding – it was quite fun. Some parts were really fast. I’m still having difficulty with the course notes, it is very different to what I am used to and I’m not sure I can learn it in a week. I saw some big animals today including 1.5 meter lizard!”
Brothers Todd and Jacob Smith are helping each other along the way.
“Jacob caught me and we raced each other most of the way, and we also worked together to open and close gates,” said Todd. “The stages were flowing nicely – it was fun.”
Damien Grabham, who broke his leg in the competition two years ago, said it was a relief just to finish the day. Damien is currently fifth in the overall timesheet after winning the first stage during Day 3, and is five minutes ahead of Despres in the overall charts.
“Today was mentally challenging,” Damien said. “I just cruised and took it easy. It was good.”
Meanwhile Ben Grabham suffered mechanical difficulties in between stages and was unable to compete in the second half.
Tomorrow the course will stay around Laverton with a looped course that begins and ends in the gold mining town. It features a massive 660km circuit spread out over three separate stages.
Australasian Safari Day 3 Results:
1. Todd Smith (Honda) 05:18:30
2. Shane Diener (Yamaha) 05:23:44
3. Rod Faggotter (Yamaha) 05:26:24
4. Jacob Smith (Honda) 05:26:27
5. Damien Grabham (Husaberg) 05:42:34
6. Ben Williams (Honda) 05:46:57
7. Cyril Despres (KTM) 05:48:16
8. Manuel Lucchese (Husaberg) 06:00:57
9. Sam Sunderland (Husaberg) 06:04:00
10. Russell Scoble (Honda) 06:14:21
11. David Geeves (Honda) 06:14:55
12. David Schwarz (Husaberg) 06:18:33
13. Paul Nappy (Honda) 06:24:56
14. Michael Heuchan (Husaberg) 06:26:21
15. William Coole (Husaberg) 06:28:07